Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Jay Weissberg
    It's a thrilling, at times brilliant piece of staging that never forgets the emotional pull of either the tragic personal tale or the ramifications of history.
  2. 100
    Vincere, though, is the veteran director's stylistic knockout, a movie whose audacious editing fully captures the hot and heavy relationships between past and present, sex and politics, reality and, yes, cinema.
  3. An amazing, galvanic experience. It's about the hushed-up story of Benito Mussolini's first wife and child, but no one will ever mistake this movie for a standard biopic. It's too raw, too primal.
  4. 100
    Setting aside, just for a moment, his general loathsomeness, there is a case to be made for a less apparent aspect of Benito Mussolini: He was once really hot.
  5. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Vincere, which comes as close to grand opera as can be achieved without anyone actually bursting into song, feels like a big movie -- handsomely mounted, full of dark shadows counterpointed with stray shafts of light, with dramatic close-ups of faces driven by passion and madness and heavy silences brutally interrupted by clashing tympani.
  6. Mezzogiorno (Love in the Time of Cholera) plays Dalser with the kind of fervent intensity once seen in silent films.
  7. A sustained, alternatingly exhausting and aesthetically exhilarating howl of a film.
  8. The movie, a near-masterpiece, is a monument to intoxication: of sexual conquest, of military conquest, and, most of all, of cinema.
  9. 90
    Well, if you care about movies, I'm telling you to carve out time for Vincere, a strange and powerful blend of historical fact and dreamlike imagination that captures both the charisma and the murderous madness of the young Benito Mussolini.
  10. A gripping presentation of a little-known true story and its historical lessons.
  11. 88
    The film is beautifully well-mounted. The locations, the sets, the costumes, everything conspire to re-create the Rome of that time. It provides a counterpoint to the usual caricature of Mussolini. They say that behind every great man there stands a great woman. In Mussolini's case, his treatment of her was a rehearsal for how he would treat Italy.
  12. A gorgeous operatic tale of obsession and madness.
  13. Vincere, which translates as the battle cry "Win!" is like invisible ink on the ledger of war, a secret record of love and loss.
  14. 83
    Vincere starts to run dry of stunning visual gambits and become redundant in its second hour, as the madhouse sequences dominate, but Bellocchio’s central premise retains its power and poignancy throughout.
  15. The director also pulls career-high performances from Mezzogiorno and Timi that are, respectively, tragic and mesmerizing.
  16. 80
    Bellocchio gets the opera-buffa and the carnival side of Italian Fascism, and parts of the movie are excruciatingly funny.
  17. Almost as an afterthought to the ringingly true performances--and Marco Bellocchio’s unusually approachable direction--comes a deft analysis of fascism, likened to lovesickness, insanity and a gust of orchestral strings. It’s all of that and more, not to mention a lousy matchmaker.
  18. 75
    Daniele Cipri's highly stylized lensing and Carlo Crivelli's bold score add to the movie's flamboyant aura. But then, the story of a bombastic dictator deserves a bombastic telling.
  19. 75
    Vincere is Ida's story, but it says as much about fascist Italy and its ruler as it does about the central character.
  20. What this uncaring man is doing to her (Ida), he's about to do to a nation of 50 million people. And all of them will hate themselves in the morning.
  21. Though Ida's life would become a torturous hell spent locked away in an insane asylum, the legacy left by her letters has made for an intense and intriguing, if at times uneven, film with Italian director Marco Bellocchio wringing every drop of emotion out of his actors and his audience before it is over.
  22. If you appreciate historical melodrama, you could do worse than Vincere.
  23. Forty-four years after his exciting debut feature "Fists in the Pocket," Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio continues his late-career renaissance with the passionate, beautifully crafted, period melodrama Vincere.
  24. There’s visual poetry here and haunted performances from Mezzogiorno and Timi -- who plays two roles, and is especially gripping as Dalser’s grown son.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Sep 22, 2010
    Con un vigor narrativo y una inventiva visual envidables, Bellocchio echa mano de un estilo diríaseCon un vigor narrativo y una inventiva visual envidables, Bellocchio echa mano de un estilo diríase operático/futurista para contar la trágica historia de la primera familia del joven socialista Benito Mussolini, repudiada y aplastada cuando "Il Duce" cambió de bando para convertirse en lider del fascismo. Giovanna Mezzogiorno está extraordinaria. Full Review »
  2. HuguesF.
    Mar 29, 2010
    Through the struggle of this woman, Bellocchio not only is critical of fascism and of the dictatorship of Mussolini.. It is too a real hymn Through the struggle of this woman, Bellocchio not only is critical of fascism and of the dictatorship of Mussolini.. It is too a real hymn to cinema as a medium conveying meaning in an alienated world. In this point of view,it is by itself an act of resistance, in a world invaded by advertisements, and whose Imaginary is colonized by the society of the spectacle. Bellocchio offers us an operatic tour de force. Performance by both actors is exceptional, but especially from Giovanna Mezzogiorno, amazingly inhabited in the role of her young career (A performance and a movie that would undeniably have deserved more prizes, had Cannes jury been fair, or had Italy selected it as the Italian candidate for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Movie, instead of a more commercial one). Full Review »
  3. JaneG.
    Mar 28, 2010
    Dark, impossibly dark, dreary and not worth the trouble. All the critics loved this but very disappointing.